White Tiger

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March 14, 2011 by markstani

I don’t claim to know a whole lot about the caste system in India, but reading White Tiger, the 2008 Booker Prize winner by Aravind Adiga, it makes it seem like an awful fuck-up. It took me three years to get round to reading it and I wish it hadn’t. Having had a glimpse of Delhi for two weeks last year, this book seems to paint the whole crazy place to perfection. It even made me pine for it. The big thing I noticed about Delhi was how subservient so many people are. I don’t mean the usual local-tourist relationship. I mean in some deeper, more unsettling way. It’s hard to explain, but this book explains it. It’s a stunning insight into modern India, and a total, page-turning thriller at the same time. A true classic, and massively deserving of the Booker Prize. (Adiga’s other book, Between The Assassinations – a collection of short stories published after White Tiger but, I suspect, written before it – is equally good).

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